I’ve played a lot of games. I’m no savant, but I would say I’ve indulged in more video games than even the average gamer, and don’t regret a minute of it. But how many games have I beaten? I asked myself this, and then set out to find the answer. With the help of my shoddy-at-best memory, Wikipedia and a few phone calls to friends and family, things are starting to become a little clearer. I present to you one man’s journey through a video game career.
Video games were growing up, and so was I. I left my parent’s house and moved away to a dorm, but I brought my PS2 with me, and that was all I needed for it to feel like home. Between going to class, sleeping through my alarm and missing my class, simply skipping class and actually earning a degree, I had plenty of time to chug through more than my fair share of absurdly long video game stretches. I remember putting Kingdom Heart’s II into my PS2 and not leaving the couch for a solid nine hours. That was probably unhealthy.
My total games list sits at 143. Read on to see how many I add to it here, which covers the PS2, original Xbox and a few Gamecube games.
PS2: The PS2 was, and really is, the definitive console in my opinion. Its versatility, longevity and ovrall value achieved a level of excellence that current-gen consoles haven’t been able to match, at least not quite yet. It seemingly had no weak spots: RPGs, racing games, platformers, shooters; every genre was represented with multiple quality titles. An explosion of new IPs and a ton of entries in our old favorite series were available, and of course the increased graphical power offered a plethora of new gameplay options. Plus, it had simply the best controller ever at the time. Never underestimate comfort.
The best thing about the PlayStation was the vastness of the library: well over 2000 titles. It was around for so long that you almost couldn’t go anywhere without seeing one; I know mine was never too far away. I was also growing up. I had my PS2 from the beginning of high school all the way through my first couple of years of college, and those were some of the heights of my video game playing stretches. Especially that first year in the dorm room; I must have took out half of these there.
Most of these titles I remember very fondly, especially ones like Future Tactics (so hard!), Grandia, RE 4 and Kingdom Heart 2. Oo7 Nightfire offered some of the best multiplayer thrills I’ve ever come across. (Seriously, in multiplayer you get a grappling hook that turns you into Spider-Man.) Some games, like Silent Hill: The Room and Digimon World I beat for reasons that are beyond me; just powered through them. I still don’t know why I beat Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, I didn’t even like it. Brand and genre loyalty I guess. Anyway, here’s the full list:
Armored Core 2
Army Men: Sarge’s Heroes 2
Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter
Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
Dark Cloud 2
Def Jam Fight for NY
Devil May Cry
Digimon World 4
Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly
Fight Night Round 2
Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy X-2
Future Tactics: The Uprising
God of War
Grand Theft Auto III
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
Kingdom Hearts II
Legaia 2: Duel Saga
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Madden NFL 2005
Monster Rancher 3
NCAA Football 2004
NFL Street 2
Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal
Red Dead Revolver
Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil: Code Veronica X
Silent Hill: The Room
Twisted Metal Black
Wild Arms 3
WWF Smackdown: Just Bring It
Xbox: My college roommate owned an Xbox, and I a PS2, so we switched off systems quite a bit. He had an absurd number of games, and if I counted the games we beat together, this list would be quite a bit larger. I wanted to keep it to games that I personally beat though, however much shorter it may make the list.
While the 360 is now my console of choice, I never really warmed to the Xbox. Part of that may have had something to do with the controller, possibly the most unwieldy game input device since Steel Battalion. Seriously, that thing was awful, and even the second generation of regular Xbox controllers weren’t that great. It was the first console that I knew of that could store music, and I couldn’t even tell you the amount of Tiger Woods ’05 games I played with The Used playing in the background. Thousands, probably. And of course, the split-screen and LAN Halo matches. So many Halo matches.
But the games I did manage to beat were some pretty good ones. Obviously the Halo series takes the spotlight, but Brute Force provided an incredible time for me and three friends one weekend. I didn’t actually care for Riddick that much, believe it or not, but Psychonauts remains one of my all-time favorites.
Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay
Halo: Combat Evolved
Hunter: The Reckoning
Tiger Woods ‘05
Resident Evil 4
While sadly I didn’t beat any Dreamcast games (though I did play a few) the so-called sixth generation of consoles was good to me. I added another fifty games to the tally, bringing it up to 193. If you want to see the other 143 ( and we know you do), check out Part 1, detailing the NES days, Part 2, which pulls back the curtain on the SNES/Genesis era, and Part 3, which enters into the PS1/N64 domain.